Book Launch: Lauren Markham "Far Away Brothers" & Special Guest Shanthi Sekaran 7pm Free


The Far Away Brothers was a Fall 2017 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, Longlisted for the Pen America Literary Award in Biography, shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize, and a Top Critic's Pick of 2017 by The New York Times. 

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The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador's violence to build new lives in California—fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong. 

Growing up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the country’s civil war, Ernesto and Raúl Flores always had a fascination with the United States, that distant land of skyscrapers and opportunity. Ernesto dreamed of going one day, but Raúl never felt the northbound tug to which so many hermanos lejanos, or “faraway brothers,” had yielded. When seventeen-year-old Ernesto ends up on the wrong side of the region’s brutal gangs, both brothers are forced to flee the country—away from one danger and toward the great American unknown. In this urgent chronicle of contemporary immigration, journalist Lauren Markham follows the Flores twins as they make their harrowing journey across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, into the hands of immigration authorities, and from there to their estranged older brother’s custody in Oakland, California. Soon these unaccompanied minors are navigating a new school in a new language, working to pay down their mounting coyote debt, and facing their day in immigration court, while also encountering the triumphs and pitfalls of life as American teenagers—girls, grades, Facebook—with only each other for support. With intimate access and breathtaking range, Markham offers a coming-of-age tale that is also a nuanced portrait of Central America’s child exodus, an investigation of U.S. immigration policy, and an unforgettable testament to the migrant experience.


"One of the finest virtues of “The Far Away Brothers” is that it makes vibrantly real an issue that some see only as theoretical, illuminating aspects of the immigrant experience normally hidden from view." - NY Times

“You should read The Far Away Brothers. We all should.” NPR

“This is the sort of news that is the opposite of fake…Markham is our knowing, compassionate ally, our guide in sorting out, up close, how our new national immigration policy is playing out from a human perspective…An important book.”The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“An indelible picture…of one imperfect family driven apart and astraynot by inequality or lax enforcement, but by the humanitarian crisis of gang warfare.”Vulture

“Timely and thought-provoking…Markham provides a sensitive and eye-opening take on what’s at stake for young immigrants with nowhere else to go.”Publishers Weekly

“Powerful…Focusing primarily on one family’s struggle to survive in violence-riddled El Salvador by sending some of its members illegally to the U.S.,…[this] compellingly intimate narrative…keenly examines the plights of juveniles sent to America without adult supervision….One of the most searing books on illegal immigration since Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey.” Kirkus [starred review]

Shanthi Sekaran is an Indian American educator and novelist known for such books as The Prayer Room and Lucky Boy. Sekaran is an Adjunct Professor at the California College of Arts and St. Mary's College of California, where she teaches creative writing.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 7:00pm